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6 Things More Helpful than "No-Mow-May"

We can't deny, Bees are important and deserve to be saved. We need bees, not just for honey, they are an important part of most ecosystems for pollinating the fruits we (and other animals) eat. Some lawns have flowers from weeds like dandelions and clover that bees can harvest nectar from, however, many homeowners find these weeds undesirable as they do not look as nice as planned landscaping/gardening.

"No-Mow May" is a trend some homeowners participate in where they don't mow their lawn during the month of May to allow the bees and other pollinators to get a jump start on collecting nectar from flowers. However, this trend has some very undesirable side effects like creating an environment prone to fleas and ticks, increasing pollen and weeds, as well as making it a nightmare to mow after letting it overgrown. Most lawnmowers aren't meant to mow grass much taller than 6 inches. Not to mention, it's bad for your grass to cut off more than half of the leaves which can lead to an unhealthy-looking lawn for the rest of the year.

Here are some better initiatives you can take to save more bees than letting your lawn become a haven for ticks and fleas ever will:

Plant Bee-Friendly Flowers

While flowers in your lawn can be a food source for bees, many homeowners hate the look of weeds, leading to a widespread use of weed-killers being used. A good way to reduce this is to prevent weeds like dandelions from spreading and seeding with regular mowing. Replace the flowers that bees would find in your lawn with flowers that offer a better solution all-season in your landscaping like lavender, roses, lilac, golden-rod, bee balm zinnias, and others. Many of these offer flowers throughout the season, and come back every year!

Expand Your Landscaping

By adding additional landscaping beds in your yard, you not only increase the area to plant flowers, but also reduce the area you need to mow! You can also incorporate window flower boxes and patio planters into your yard for additional space.

Support Local Beekeepers

Bee keepers are known for keeping thousands of bees alive and well for honey production. This practice helps their species thrive, while also cultivating honey for human consumption. Support your local bee keepers by buying local honey!

Provide Shelter/BeeHouses

Bee boxes and bird fountains can be a haven for bees. By providing a space for their next nest and incorporating water features into your yard, you can help the bees with more than just their need of nectar.

Avoid/Reduce Pesticides

Pesticides can be an indiscriminate killer. By finding alternative ways to cull pests in your garden you can help save the insects that aren't attacking your veggies. One alternative is using beer traps to drown slugs that are probably eating your tomatoes.

Incorporate Short Flowers into Lawn

Many species of flowers can grow below the height you mow at. These flowers are much less likely to be cut when mowing your grass, leaving their nectar for the bees. Some shorter flowers that can be seeding into your lawn include creeping thyme, white clover, mint, mondo grass, sandwort, creeping buttercup, and others.

Another great alternative to risk angering your neighbors is to select a small patch of lawn with flowers in the back of your yard to allow it to grow a bit between mowings. You can even alternate patches to ensure the bees always have a patch of flowers to graze. This will reduce the area of dandelions to cull while leaving the rest of the flowers to flourish.

Posted on May 11, 2023

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